One of the bird species spotted and recorded during the local 48-hour annual bird count was this Audubon’s Warbler. (Rebekah Verbeek photo)

Annual bird count thrills organizer in Houston

Count took place over 48 hours

The organizer of this year’s annual bird count says she’s thrilled by the number of participants and the number of species spotted and recorded.

“I am completely blown away by the participation this year and we blew our record of 81 out of the water with 95 species this year,” said Cindy Verbeek, the northern coordinaor for A Rocha, the organization that’s also the driving force behind the Buck Creek CANFOR hatchery.

The count was held within the 48-hour period from 12:01 a.m. May 23 to 11:59 p.m. May 24 within the Upper Bulkley River Watershed.

Nine people participated at various times with appropriate physical distancing and seven more participated online by submitting sightings, pictures and lists.

“That makes 16 people! More than I’ve ever had. I’m so thrilled,” said Verbeek.

The online record of sightings and numbers has the dark-eyed Junco tied with the Northern Flicker at 11 sightings followed by the Canada Goose, the American Robin, Black-eyed Chickadee and Purple Finch tied at 10.

One Varied Thrush was spotted as was one American Goldfinch, one House Finch and one Herring Gull.

Those interested in seeing the complete list can check out the iNaturalist.ca site — https://inaturalist.ca/projects/houston-birding-bioblitz-2020.

The annual count in the Houston area is part of a world-wide tracking of species conducted by wildlife associations such as the National Geographic and the Audubon Society.

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This trio of bird watchers pays close attention to the outdoors during the annual 48-hour bird count held here. (Rebekah Verbeek photo)

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